Primary school bans parents from baking cakes to sell at Christmas fair unless they hold a food hygiene certificate
School letter tells parents homemade donations will not be accepted
Headteacher said advice in letter had followed the council’s guidelines



15:07 GMT, 4 December 2012

Stunned parents will not be able to donate homemade cakes and buns to a primary school Christmas fair because of new health and safety rules.

The ban was brought to the parents' attention via a letter from their children's school.

Headteacher of Sheffield’s Gleadless Primary School, Valerie Fowles, wrote: 'Due to new regulations we can only accept donations of homemade cakes and buns from people who have a food and hygiene certificate.'

Homemade cakes have been banned at Gleadless Primary Christmas fair

Not for consumption: Homemade cakes, like these cupcakes, have been banned from this year's Sheffield's Gleadless Primary School Christmas fair unless whoever made them has a food and hygiene certificate

Yesterday furious parents hit out at the banning of a tradition, calling it 'bonkers'.

One dad, who was collecting his seven-year-old son said : 'It’s absolutely bonkers, it’s another classic example of health and safety gone mad.

'In my opinion things are completely out of hand and something needs doing about it.

'It’s been a tradition for years even when I was a kid to take homemade buns and cakes to school for Christmas and it’s something that children like to do and to be involved with.'

He added: 'But I must admit I wasn’t surprised when I read the letter – there’s nothing that surprises me these days.

'It’s another ridiculous case of health and safety going mad.'

A mum at school to collect her six year old son said: 'I know children’s safety at school is important but I’m not aware that anyone has ever been hurt by eating homemade cakes and buns. I think this is going too far.'

Mrs Barbara Atkinson, who has at school to pick up her grand daughter said it had always been a tradition for parents to bake cakes for youngsters to take for school events.

She said: 'I think it’s ridiculous, although I know some schools allow homemade produce and some don’t.'

Mary Marsden, who was picking up her granddaughter Eve said: 'Schools do have to be so careful.

'My daughter-in-law Rachael brought cup cakes to the fair but I suppose they are okay, she has a certificate because she bakes for a charity.'

Gleadless Primary School in Sheffield

Humbug: Furious parents with children at Gleadless Primary School in Sheffield have slammed the school's move to ban the tradition of donating homemade cakes and buns to the Christmas fair as 'bonkers'

Sheffield Council education chiefs said that the guidance issued was supposed to apply to large outside contractors who sometimes cater for a major event and that they would be offering advice to the school.

A council spokesman: 'It wasn’t meant to refer to mums and dads volunteering to bake at home for school fairs and the like. We will be telling the school this.'

Steve Clark, council service manager said: 'Guidance about food hygiene was issued to let schools know about best practice when holding events where food is brought in.

'These type of school events vary greatly from big summer barbecues to mince pies at Christmas.

'We issued this in good faith but in the light of feedback from schools we will be reviewing the guidance and reassuring schools that it is fine for them to continue to use commonsense when inviting parents to contribute food to events.'

Mrs Fowles said the advice in the letter to parents had followed the council’s guidelines.

She said: 'The last thing we wanted to do was to ban anyone from bringing homemade cakes to the Christmas fair so I am delighted that the local authority policy which followed is being reviewed.'

Gleadless Primary School in Sheffield

Letter of the law: Headteacher of Gleadless Primary School (pictured), Mrs Fowles, said the advice in her letter to parents had followed the council's guidelines